Published exclusively in this site by Jessie on 23 April 2012.
If you are fed up with the inflated prices for homogeneous hotels in Phuket or Koh Samui, Koh Samed may just be the place for you. Not to be confused with the heavily developed Koh Samui, Koh Samed is a little off the beaten track, and still have that rustic, small island charm. With crystal clear waters and powder white sandy beaches, it is right off the Gulf of Thailand, where a mere two and a half hours drive from Bangkok's Suvarnabhumi Airport will take you to the Ban Phe Pier in Rayong Province, the gateway to the island. At that point, just another 30 minutes relaxing boat ride will put you right on the serene beaches for a lovely weekend.
Koh Samed is the place where locals go for mini escapes and expats go for weekend parties. Don't expect the normal decked out fancy establishments. It is the raw chic and natural beauty that keeps visitors coming back time after time. For those who come for an action-packed weekend, you will find plenty of snorkeling spots around the island, as well as a range of water sports on offer. However, most people coming here will end up indulging in the laidback vibe, ending up simply tanning on the beach and simultaneously enjoying a Thai massage, while they drift off to the sound of breaking waves. Alternatively, you could also rent a scooter to explore the coastline, which is a consecutive seven kilometres of unspoiled beaches.
Ao Wai beach in the south coast is highly recommended, while Ao Prao beach on the west coast is quieter and less favoured by the party crowds, so you will find yourself surrounded by couples and young families. Oh, and did I mention the mouth-watering authentic Thai food at unbelievable prices in beach front locations? Stay at Paradee Resort for an ultra exclusive romantic hideaway! Booking through the online agency Agoda will give you very competitive rates, and their room availability is instantly updated.
Due to its geographic location, Koh Samed is the place with the least rainfall in the whole of Thailand. Sunshine will not be lacking, so be sure to pile up on the sun block and a straw hat. Don't forget your insect repellent too, since swollen mosquito bites don't exactly mix well with bikinis and sarongs!